Thursday, September 23, 2010

The netbook is absolutely not a notebook

The screen and keyboard are too small to make them an effective learning tool.
They have a reputation for being very slow especially with Win XP/7 and antivirus software.
Eye strain and cramped shoulders, headaches and neck strain will increase from the tiny screen, keyboard and mouse pad.
Any extended use -20 minutes or more -the netbook should be positioned in a cradle to try to mitigate these issues - another expense (OH&S guidelines from Worksafe Victoria)
How do you stop a child who has their own laptop with music, photos and homework etc from NOT taking it into their bedroom?
When it is not a communal computer for general use but a personal one it will encourage continual use which is not what netbooks are for- with resultant health issues

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Equity

Having families pay for the computer raises serious questions of equity.
What happens to large families and those with fixed incomes or other financial constraints?
How can we knowingly set up a situation of haves and have nots in the free education system? Andrew Boot a parent at BSWP who attended the Student Council on the13th of September and works for Pearson Australia the education publishers is what you would call an expert although he made the disclaimer that he works for the opposition in this situation, at the meeting he pointed out that computer access has to be uniform, the system cannot work where there are children sharing computers, it is the same with textbooks, you cannot have some children without a book. They will get left behind.
I suspect many parents have signed up for this reason and I am so disappointed that all the other reasonable and fair choices which can bring IT to the classroom without families being forced to buy a netbook have never even been broached. WHY?????

Monday, September 13, 2010

OH&S with Netbooks

Hi Mim,
Another point I am not sure that you covered in your blog is that a
netbook is absolutely not a notebook, the screen and keyboard are too
small to make them an effective learning tool. They also have a
reputation for being very slow especially with Win XP/7 and antivirus
software. This issue has been covered in APC technology mag in the
context of business productivity but the same applies to kids. The
times I have used them I get eye strain and cramped shoulders from the
tiny screen keyboard and mouse pad.
You are welcome to add this to your blog, I could not log in.
Jol Blazey (Software Engineer)

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Winter of Our Disconnect

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2010/09/ats_20100906.mp3

This is a Radio National broadcast of a discussion from the Brisbane Writers Festival. Dr Susan Mouseheart has written about The Winter of Our Disconnect when she convinced her family to drop the devices for a while. Amusing and revealing.